Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County Economic Development Corp., addressed members of the Markle Town Council during the monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Markle Fire Station.
Wickersham reported on the efforts of HCUED and presented his proposal for the council to renew its contract with the organization for the same amount as last year, which was $3,400.
Included in his report, Wickersham commented on the numerous industries in Huntington County that are instrumental in being the exclusive makers of parts for national and international companies. He added that this year alone, 44 requests were made by companies seeking information concerning potentially doing business in Huntington County.
The council made a motion to approve the contract and reappointed Jeff Stockman as its representative on the HCUED board.
The council discussed at length the issue of its proposed agreement with Novae to rent advertising space on the water tower. In an effort to be fair, before entering into an agreement with Novae, the council gave other businesses the opportunity to compete for the space, but none came forward.
Novae applied for a variance through the Markle Board of Zoning Appeals and was denied by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The council has drafted, via its attorney, an affidavit of appeal because it disagreed with the BZA's ruling and filed the appeal on Dec. 7. Brought before the council was a motion to ratify the appeal that was filed within the 30-day window. The motion was approved. This allows the council to further discuss how to move forward in regards to the issue.
It was announced that the council will be conducting a self-evaluation of all town-owned facilities, public right-of-way and all town programs for compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and preparing a transition plan describing the results of the self-evaluation.
Public input is being sought, especially from people with disabilities, their caregivers and disability advocates, in regards to barriers to access or use of town facilities or programs.
There is a 14-day comment period, Dec. 3 through Dec. 18, and written comments can be dropped off at the clerk-treasurer's office, 155 W. Sparks St., during normal business hours; via voicemail at 420-0335, extension 6680 or via e-mail to Markle@dlz.com .
In other business:
• The council motioned to renew its contract with OnlyInternet for three years.
• Also approved was the Waste Management contract with its amendments.
• The council approved a motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-6, Amendment to Tree Ordinance.
The next meeting will be held on Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m., at the fire station.